Apple Pulls 500px’s Mobile Apps From The App Store, Claiming It’s Too Easy To Search For Nude Photos →
Toronto photo-sharing startup 500px is reporting today that both of its applications, 500px for iOS and its recent acquisition ISO500, have been pulled from the Apple App Store due to concerns about nude photos. Combined, the apps have over 1 million downloads, 500px COO Evgeny Tchebotarev tells us…
The apps were pulled from the App Store this morning around 1 AM Eastern, and had completely disappeared by noon today. The move came shortly after last night’s discussions with Apple related to an updated version of 500px for iOS, which was in the hands of an App Store reviewer.
The Apple reviewer told the company that the update couldn’t be approved because it allowed users to search for nude photos in the app. This is correct to some extent, but 500px had actually made it tough to do so, explains Tchebotarev. New users couldn’t just launch the app and locate the nude images, he says, the way you can today on other social photo sharing services like Instagram or Tumblr, for instance. Instead, the app defaulted to a “safe search” mode where these type of photos were hidden. To shut off safe search, 500px actually required its users to visit their desktop website and make an explicit change.
Tchebotarev said the company did this because they don’t want kids or others to come across these nude photos unwittingly. “Some people are mature enough to see these photos,” he says, “but by default it’s safe.”
FJP: A few things to note:
Noted, Part One: as one commenter on the story writes, “Do they plan on removing Safari from iOS as well? And every other mobile web browser?”
Noted, Part Deux: God forbid they take a close look at what you can find with the Tumblr app.
Noted, the third: Here’s where you come across the very serious issue of a gatekeeping ecosystem where app developers and publishers are essentially at the whims of Apple. For example, last summer Apple refused to carry an app that mapped publicly reported drone strikes.